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Gallery Espace presents Ravi Agarwal’s new series of photographs

From: Press Release
Date: 06 Dec 2010
Time: 02:35:23 -0600


New Delhi: Gallery Espace presents Ravi Agarwal’s new photographs in a show titled “Flux” at Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi from December 8, 2010 till January 8, 2011. The show will comprise of more than 50 photographic works, some as large as 52x42 inches, that have been taken over a period of two years and also a video. The works in the upcoming show belong to Agarwal’s long-standing art practice of examining his ecological relationship with what is happening around him, this time with a city in transition, literally and metaphorically through machines, flyovers, sewage ponds, forest spaces and more. It is an engagement with a “moment” in changing times. Says Agarwal, who was invited to the largest and most prestigious art show in the world, Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany in 2002, a rare distinction shared only by few artists from India: “There is no breathing space left around me anymore. Everything is fluid and in flux. The city is in transition and I seek spaces for keeping myself intact, which is what the work is about. At one time, for instance, one could see a coin thrown into the Yamuna, now that is impossible.” The River Yamuna has, in fact, surfaced time and again in Agarwal’s work – whether as part of a book titled Immersion Emergence or as an installation on the river bed for “Have you seen the flowers on the River?” project. Even in the current show, there are six photographs, titled ‘After the Flood’, that ironically show a dried up river bed. “There is an aesthetic relationship with a photograph which occurs, at the moment of its making. The image is a moment, which does not re-occur. It is not an image of something outside, but reflective of a relationship. Nothing is ever the same, and can never be revisited,” says Agarwal. Ravi also exhibits a series of 16 photographs, sized 15x10 inch each, titled ‘Tar Machines’ that reflect his fascination with issues of labour and industrial machines. Also on show will be a series of four photographs titled ‘Sewage Pond’ (“this looks like a beautiful forest swamp but is actually collected sewage that comes from Vasant Kunj”) and a set of two photographs titled ‘Forest Morning’ that Agarwal says is a comment on his ideas of desire and despair. “For the Forest work, I made certain minimalist interventions in the forest to reflect my sense of things. I used mannequins, child’s toys or a mere doodle on the ground,” he explains, adding that he wants to suggest through these random objects an insignificant human existence amidst a larger outer world. There is also an installation of a series of 52 photographs, albeit in multiple sizes, ranging from 10x15 inch to 3x4 inch, titled ‘Flyover’; where he charts the rapidly changing landscape of Delhi. “These forms show to me that stability is just a notion, and capitalism portrayed through these mushrooming flyovers everywhere, only provide a false sense of stability.”